1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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new here/my story

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Adamrex, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. Adamrex

    Adamrex New Member

    when i was 12 i started getting made fun of and became very insecure. it was essentially bullying and by highschool had turned into full on bullying. im a bit predisposed to eczema/psoriasis and had my first and a very severe "attack" at age twelve. the undersides of my forearms were covered in itchy, scaley, bubbling rash. this has always come and gone though never as severe, ive only recently realized how this might correlate with my TMS/PPD and the onset of my emotional struggle.

    i was suicidal and felt worthless for six years. one of the most insecure people i can imagine being possible. i could rattle off 20-25 insecurities in an instant.

    at 16 i had my first spell of back pain while running. i never really thought about it, but this was also the culmination of stress and rage in my life, to this point. my brother was dealing with drugs and my parents were focused on him. he was a bit of a dick and they were a bit over bearing, regardless of who was to blame id come home covered in bruises from being punched in passing to my parents arguing and specifically mom crying every couple of days. add to that figuring out what to major in college. the podiatrist told me to wear heal inserts and the placebo worked. the pain would return intermittently over the next few years, confusingly, as i still wore the inserts.

    at age 20 i had a recurrence of pain. it began with a slightly funny feeling after one specific bunny hop on my BMX bike, i remember it to this day. over the next few months it progressed as i kept riding. it was my biggest passion, i couldnt stop. eventually i was in level 9 pain all day everywhere i went. so i went to a sports therapist who took an MRI and made the diagnosis;

    slipped disc.

    not bad enough to operate on. id just need to do some PT and as id find out, never ride BMX again. or any other type of riding for that matter, i tried them all over the next couple of years. flatland BMX, road bikes, full suspension mountain bikes. eventually the pain would return and id move onto the next hopeful passion.

    i never put it together, but age 20 was, like 16, the beginning of the next chapter in my life. it was time to figure out where id work and live after college. i also had an extremely stressful roommate situation at this point - they regularly took advantage of me and made me feel weak. The first girl i ever really loved also broke up with me right around the same time as the onset of pain as well. it was another triple threat, even four if you add the fear induced by the pain that id never ride BMX again.

    Eventually it subsided and since age twenty ive spent the past 7 years formulating complex lists of things i can and can not do, what bed to sleep on, how to modify my car seat, what shoes to wear, etc etc. ive found and fallen in love with surfing, which is a blessing as it never activated my pain response. aside from random spells which, though relevant, as they follow the stress-pain relationship, ill leave out for the sake of brevity.

    four months ago i "wore a lip" surfing, meaning the lip crashed down on my shoulders. i had read an article once about someone fracturing their spine this way. my back felt "funny" after the fall. it then began to hurt. after one more wave i went in, got a burger, and by the time id left the restaurant i could hardly walk. it was my slipped disc acting up, i figured, triggered by the wave landing on my shoulder, as this slow onset of pain was similar to past experiences and didnt indicate an instantaneous injury. this correlated with more big life changes, yada yada yada. it "healed" (went away) in about a month.

    about 3 months ago i began having a funny tension deep in my left butt cheek upon waking up. it would go away entirely thereafter. but it was there every morning for ten or fifteen seconds. i had begun sleeping on a different mattress, though more importantly major life changes were in the works. sure enough as this major redirection, in a sense, of my life continued, the sciatica got worse. until i drove for around ten hours straight on a road trip to see friends and the coast, and begin my new life. the sciatica became bad. as the holidays neared and i continued to drive, which of course i thought was the issue, my pain worsened. naturally, this coincided with my needing to meet a deadline to make a flight home for the holidays where id also be seeing the third girl (and last to date) id ever been in love with, all the while explaining my new lifestyle to family and being faced with finding a job in a new city when i returned to california. my sciatica got so bad i could hardly walk, go figure.

    i was accepting that it was time for the same spinal fusion surgery that some of my friends had gotten. after all, my disc had probably, after seven years, slipped far enough to now be hitting a nerve, which requires surgery. Well i asked my friends for some advice, began the research into a procedure which i already knew had a grim outlook. 50% had no reduction in pain at all, of the 50% that did, 50% had the pain come back or worsen after two years. for 12-15 thousand dollars. id looked into it 7 years ago when i was 20.

    then i stumbled upon mention of Sarno's book and the misleading effects of MRI findings and began to wonder. im a structural man. ive got my degree in mechanical engineering and also consider myself to be very open minded. after 2.5 years in the field i left the career to lead a more healthy lifestyle somewhere warmer, and took steps to transition away from a money based outlook on life to a happiness based outlook. so i went from wearing a tie every day and having my own office to living in my car and working as a server in southern california, in one year, entirely by choice. i wont get into the deep philosophy behind all that, lets just say i consider myself an open minded person.

    well i remember hearing about Sarnos book 7 years ago as well and immediately dismissing it. not this time, i was finally convinced to pick it up and had tremendous results from day one.

    Im still new to the TMS/PPD scene, only began learning the day after this last christmas, just, what, like 15 days ago or so. its been a wonderful journey and i cant even explain how good it feels to know there is nothing structurally wrong. ive compiled a massive evidence sheet in this short time and utilized various techniques from Sarnos book and the treatment program on this website to effectively treat my symptoms psychologically. i have also begun to approach my condition on the deeper level of therapy and reorganizing my thoughts to include more self compassion and lessen my inner bullying (i write a letter to that dick daily, and it helps).

    although ive had hours of being pain free and had SO MUCH evidence that completely contradicts my unconscious minds plans of deceiving me into believing the sciatica is caused from this and that (ive literally disproved them all, every single one of them, through symptomatic psychological treatment methods, re: mind games) the pain does continue, intermittently. but ive got so much hope and am so excited, i cant even contain myself.

    I rode BMX hard a few times over the past couple weeks, overcoming the pain with various psychological games or treatments. for example, once while reading sarnos book i thought about the bullying and began to tear up. i wrote an angry list and then my pain had completely subsided and i rode BMX after. i can finally enjoy my original passion again after seven years. this is truly beautiful and life changing for me.

    i also deeply value the high level of introspection that this treatment has provided me with. the reason i discussed how open minded i am is because thats actually been completely blown out of the water by what ive had to learn to accept through the discovery of PPD. And i love it. I love learning about a part of me and a function of my brain that i could have never imagined existed. i love proving the seemingly sadistic portion of my unconscious mind wrong daily, and am growing so much as a person in ways that i never knew that i could.

    im still on the road to recovery, will be saving up for treatment in the Orange County area shortly. i watched the video of the 2012 pain conference today and was very impressed by eric sherman's explanation of why traditional psychotherapy doesnt work for TMS, something i was wondering about since Sarno had mentioned it in his book but didnt explain why. its good to know i will likely need to find a PPD specialist, though kind of sucks because ive been informed of very inexpensive means of obtaining therapy through different resources, like college centers which use students overseen by senior practitioners. i wonder if i could still utilize these resources but simply approach it from a psychological standpoint and not even mention the pain.

    we will see. sorry for the long post, im just excited to be able to share this with people that understand. its very frustrating in real life! i cant imagine how Sarno did it for so many years, going against the medical community, and am equally grateful for our current medical and psychological leaders.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Adamrex,

    Welcome to this community, the Structured Education Program, and the Wiki. I am so happy you found out about Dr. Sarno. I am happy too that you have found so much relief in a short time and have even been able to ride your BMX bike again!!

    I was told I need surgery by eight different physicians for severe foot pain, and luckily I just kept refusing until, through the love of a friend I found Dr. Sarno's work.

    This is a wonderful statement. Many many people find that using Dr. Sarno's approach to pain brings them into relationships with themselves that they didn't even know were possible. Each person finds their own way, and you are finding yours.

    I think working with Self Compassion and the Inner Bully or Inner Critic are two of the basic pillars to treat TMS. That's my bias, partly because there is so much benefit outside TMS work. I love that you are writing a letter every day to "that dick."

    This is a great understanding: that when you support yourself to feel more, and be more real with your feelings, the pain does not need to be there.

    As far as finding a non-TMS therapist to support you, as per your description, this might work. You are already getting so much success on your own. Look for ''psychodynamic" therapy approaches, which are getting harder to find. Just having someone you can trust, and who will help you follow your process deeply (rather than trying to "fix" you, which is part of the therapy approach by many) can be really great. We've had discussions here before about this, on the Forum, and I'll refer you to this discussion by the experts, who do not all agree.

    Scroll down and find some discussions.


    Finally, I would recommend you take your time, and know that you have engaged this process, this brilliant approach, and it is, and will continue to do the work for you. In other words, try to do the work lightly, with curiosity, and with patience and confidence. There may be setbacks, there may be progress that does not fit your ideals for yourself. Think of it more like "living in a car and having fun" than like "wearing a tie and working in an office." It works best if you hang loose!

    Andy B.
    Mermaid likes this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Can you direct me to this video? Thanks. Andy
  4. Adamrex

    Adamrex New Member

    absolutely, thanks for the response!!

    youve likely seen alan gordon's speech from the conference. i love this and have a hard time watching it just once when i watch it. some of his words, namely "its a kinesthetic hallucination" and from one of his articles, "its a conditioned response" got me through my first half day of no pain, along with a technique i thought up myself, visualization. heres his speech

    heres the first part of the pain conference. i was a little bummed that they edited out Schubiner's part about slipped discs as it was mentioned in two other speakers presentations, Forest's and Alan Gordon's, and of course it directly applies to me. Eric Sherman is the last speaker in this video, at first his presentation comes off a bit dry but half way through i found myself writing down everything he was saying

    here's one excerpt:
    "when a structural or anatomical change is diagnosed as the cause of someone's pain and disability, a psychophisiologic disorder can be misdiagnosed and physical treatments not only fail but may serve to intensify the symptomotology. appropriate treatment is delayed or denied and iatrogenic or physician induced stability develops. the person becomes increasingly preoccupied with the pain symptomotology. now every bodily sensation echoes and confirms the doctors dire assessment reinforcing the person's own sense of being permanently damaged. unfortunately both medical specialists and mental health professionals often only respond to somatic symptoms as medical symptoms which are constantly misunderstood and mismanaged by both disciplines. whether musculoskeletal pain is conceptualized as a psychophisiological condition or not determines it's fate as a symptom, complaint or a communication in the treatment situation. for many psychotherapists, regardless of their theoretical leanings, pain symptomotology is fundamentally unrelated to a person's character structure, interpersonal relationships, level of maturity or psychodynamics. more often musculoskeletal pain is regarded as an unfortunate complication in their lives, the inevitable consequence of aging, injury, or illness."
  5. Adamrex

    Adamrex New Member

    more from Eric Sherman, i wish i could get the whole trnscript. this took me about an hour to do on my phone going from speech to my gmail then bringing back up the speech every 5-6 words he said.

    " pain is still understood to be an experience that happens from without as opposed to arising from within the patient. not infrequently the therapist will ask, "can't you just treat the back problems and I'll continue to work with him on his other issues? " they don't fully realize that emotional difficulties underlying the development of musculoskeletal pain cannot simply be subtracted away from the rest of someone's personality. the medicalization of musculoskeletal pain further compromises the therapists ability to treat the person suffering with tms or PPD. if the mental health clinician regards the person's pain symptomotology as the result of a herniated disc for example, than the thrust of the work must be directed towards understanding the various ways that someone mourns his loss or struggles against accepting it."

    "when the therapists acknowledges the pain as a result of a psychophisiological disorder, the emphasis in therapy shifts from mourning the physical losses associated with pain symptomotology to developing a richer and more extensive emotional vocabulary for coping with painful emotional states. this process resembles parents instructing angry toddlers to use your words instead of throwing a tantrum. "

    these arent in any order, my curser in the video kept getting bumped around.
  6. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Hey man,

    Have you looked into doing the Structured Educational Program offered for free here on this site? I highly recommend it. It's 6 weeks and it has helped countless others, myself included. You may not even need therapy after, or if you do, this will give stuff to work on while you're saving up.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    H, Adamrex. You have been given some great advice in the replies from others and I can only add that the SEProgram is wonderful. It helped heal me from severe back pain by discovering I was holding in years of repressed anger from my childhood when my parents divorced when I was seven.
    In journaling, I learned more about them and realized they both had TMS pain from economic stress. That helped me to forgive them and forgiving healed my pain. TMS and forgiving are the miracle cures everyone is searching for.
    Adamrex likes this.
  8. Adamrex

    Adamrex New Member

    thank you, i havent looked into that. im a bit ADD at the moment kind of hurridly jumping around between different articles and techniques. i will absolutely look into that in the near future. i think youre right and i likely dont need therapy. Like Alan Gordon wrote, its like cutting your own hair. you can do it yourself, but you wont be able to see everything someone else would, or something along those lines. the thing is, ive been cutting my own hair exclusively for almost ten years now, and im damn good at it :)

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